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Old 09-25-2012, 06:49 PM
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Location: Coolidge, AZ
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Default Re: Killer Time in the White Mountains- AZ

I LOVE to stalk fish. maybe it's the hunter in me, but for some reason the stealth, the cast, the presentation, all which ideally culminate in the quick flash of gold, all of it just makes sense.

I fished a big stimi under an undercut bank where I knew a brown trout just had to be laying. I couldn't even see the fly as it went around the bend and through the undercut. I know this sounds weird, but I was listening, and just waiting to "feel" the take. I guess it's kind of like how you start to get up, not even realizing why, and then the phone rings...

I couldn't "feel" it in the conventional sense with the slack from the mend, but somehow I just sensed that a trout had taken it. The rod tip jerked upward as I set the hook and felt pressure.

YES!!!! Wait, No?

The line was taught but I seemed glued to the side of the undercut. My fish was just probably a root or clump of grass.

And then it started to MOVE. I tell you, he wasn't huge, but he fought me like only a wild trout can. I had to horse him from the undercut, where he was diving for the safety of weeds. It was a little nerve racking on 6X, let me tell you.

My plan was to remain dry on the bank, but all bets were off when I got him out into the current. Diving into the water like a trained Seal, I chased after him and netted the gorgeous brown.

The hook slipped from his lip and I had time to take two quick pictures. Neither really emphasized his beauty, his thickness, or his length. He wasn't a gaint, but for this stream, he was a trophy. I didn't have a tape measure with me on this trip, but who cares? It was about more than numbers and ounces.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

He finned his way back into the water, as lively as any fish I've seen. For a moment I felt satisfied with the number of fish I'd caught, and then I realized that was ridiculous, who can catch enough fish to satisfy them?

This fish tried to escape, but I won in the end, getting a decent picture.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

I ended the afternoon with around 20-25 browns, a few misses, and a couple of LDR's.

The next day I explored a stream in the morning, and kicked back in the afternoon. The inhabitants were gorgeous, and in their fall colors. I didn't realize it at the time, but the rotund little ones were probably females full of eggs. Thankfully, they all cooperated and I was able to treat them VERY gently. This stream was small, and VERY hard to fish. I did end up with 15+ for half a day's fishing.

Honestly, is there a prettier fish than a fall brook trout?

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

The artist who painted these was more skilled than Van Gogh

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

The next day I had to leave, but I went back to the brown trout spot. My mojo was off that morning, missing and ldr'ing 10-15, but I regained it and by 3:00 had a great last day. Caught a bunch like these.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

It was an EPIC trip! All the research paid off.

The first night it froze, got down to 29 degrees. but the hoppers were still active in the afternoon. Every other day they were prolific. Even caught a brookie with a mini hopper that hadn't even swallowed the last hopper he had eaten.

Each day I caught between 15-30 fish. The numbers were good, all were caught on hoppers, and the beauty of the trout was unmatched.

We had a 200 lb cinnamon black bear boar run across the road in front of us on the drive up, and I saw a larger sow on the way back feeding on something in a meadow. We saw deer, turkey, elk (including a big bull) and all sorts of other animals. The elk were bugling there heads off, the fall is starting to show, and everything seemed perfect. What a trip!





It's good to live in AZ .
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